Dice Tower Newsletter

CMON recently announced that they will be adopting a Minimum Advertised Pricing Policy (MAPP) that will go into effect on June 1st.  This means that all CMON products will have a minimum price that retailers, both online and physical, can advertise their games at.  This move is being adopted as a step to level the playing field between online retailers and brick and mortar stores, with the former typically having lower prices than the latter.  Along with Asmodee and Privateer Press, this is now the third major board game company to take this step.  In addition to this new policy, CMON is changing who they distribute through and so will now be using ACD, Alliance, and Peachstate Hobby Distribution.  Will these steps and changes make for a better CMON and better board game business world?  I hope so.

You can read the entire announcement on the CMON site.

Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) announced a new game, Cutthroat Kingdoms by designer Bryan Merlonghi. Players will take the role of a leading lord or lady in the six Houses of the Kingdom of Aurum. Utilizing political intrigue, powerful armies, and strategic alliances, Cutthroat Kingdoms is a competitive game of negotiation and dealmaking with a medieval fantasy theme.

The throne to the Kingdom of Aurum lies unclaimed.

As memory of the slain king Ratimir Dravanof passes, the six great houses vie for control of the land in a neverending dispute of title, territory and birthright.

Now, embroiled in conflict, the lords and ladies lock eyes on the crown, as they fight to contend with the remnants of the Dravanof legacy: the great plague that has now turned upon the people, to ravage the countryside, exacting its cruel revenge.

This is the innovative new social game of contract, duplicity, arranged marriages and tainted food. Every group will create their own rules for how to play and every game will be different. Will yours be high on subterfuge, backstabbing and betrayal, or conducted on a higher plane of rock-solid agreements and unbreakable oaths?

The game supports 3 – 6 players, with a playing time of 90 – 150 minutes. For more information, visit the AEG Cutthroat Kingdoms page, where you can download the rulebook and see images of some of the cards.

 

Hopefully your wallets haven’t taken too much of a beating, because here are some more interesting Kickstarters to check out.

ELO Darkness is the first game I want to mention, and it’s another entry in the quickly growing MOBA style games category.  Right off the bat what makes this game different is that out of the box it is a 2-player game, with each player controlling their whole team.  A team will be made up of five heroes, each with their own specific tasks like support, being a front line fighter, or a roamer who attacks when it is least expected.  The game is definitely steeped in the MOBA game style as many similar terms and ideas are used in the game, making it an easy transition from video game to board game.  Also, to capture the frantic pace of a live game, the actions in the game are resolved simultaneously so you will have to plan well while still being flexible enough to respond to your opponent’s actions.  So if you are looking for a new type of MOBA game to play, check out it’s Kickstarter page.

Next is Clash of Rage, a new minis skirmish type game from La boite de jeu where the point is to annihilate your opponents.  There are four armies in the base box as well as four heroes, allowing you to mix and match the hero to the army.  Also each army plays very differently , giving an asymmetrical feel to the game and forcing you to think on your feet.  Some other interesting aspects include a combat system where what types of units you bring effects the outcome more than just the number of units you bring.  Also tactic cards will be what determine reinforcements and income, and that income you get will allow you to buy upgrades for your units.  Plan well and equip your units right, and you just might win the game.  If this game sounds interesting to you, head on over to the Kickstarter page.

Finally we have Sine Tempore, a cooperative sci-fi game from Ludu Magnus Studio.  In this game you are space explorers looking for an inhabitable planet, and after nearly giving up you finally found one.  The bad news is that the planet is being used by aliens as a holy site for their customs and don’t take kindly to you moving in, so now you have to fight for your new home.  Missions in the game are card created so you won’t be doing the same ones over and over, and even the enemy will have missions, allowing for a win were you are still alive.  The game also comes with a campaign that doesn’t have a static end, as you make choices and proceed through the campaign you can arrive at one of three different endings.  Add in to that an adaptive AI for the enemies and an innovative momentum action wheel for turns, and you have a unique game on your hands.  Check out this mini heavy co-op game on Kickstarter now.

Euler’s Game has announced pre-orders for their new 2p abstract game, Hypergrid, in the EU and surrounding countries. In Hypergrid, players take turns placing pairs of colored discs on a 3×3 grid, combining their effects,  trying to create more lines than their opponent. If a player stacks chips 3 or more high, they can use its elemental effect. When a player can no longer place chips, the game ends, and the most points wins. Using concepts from topological geometry and vector operators, Hypergrid is an abstract game with a simple ruleset but infinite options. Hypergrid comes with a neoprene game mat, 65 colored tokens, 9 colored markers and 2 d6 markers. Pre-orders can be taken through Blackfire Entertainment and are expected to continue through June.

Vile Genius Games has started a Kickstarter Campaign for Loot & Recruit, a fast goblin based deck-building game for 2-5 players. In Loot & Recruit, players use cards with Loot Power to obtain new cards for their deck, Recruit Power to gather goblins for their platforms, and Attack Power to demolish other player’s stacked goblins. Goblins go onto one of 3 platforms, where they stack vertically and score points. Players can attack any goblin in an opposing players stack, as long as their defense is lower the attack power, which brings down the attacked goblin and any others stacked on top. Action cards add special abilities when played, and event cards add a unique flair to each round.

Loot & Recruit will be on Kickstarter through June 21, and is expected to deliver in June 2018.

Renegade Games announced a new card game called Atlas: Enchanted Lands.  It’s a light fantasy themed card game with art done by the talented Beth Sobel and features a quick play time of 20 minutes for 2 to 4 players.  In the game you will be playing down cards representing a time and place, with the different times being dawn, sunset, day, and night.  Each time you play a card you have to pick whether to play for the time or the place, creating sets of it on the table.  And it’s these sets you are creating that is the focus of the game because you get points for bidding on which sets will be completed and when.  The game is being billed as easy to play while still having meaty decisions to make, and I tend to agree with them.  The game is slated for release in the Fall of this year, and you can read the below press release for more information.

 

San Diego, CA (May 22nd, 2017) — Renegade Game Studios™, the premier publisher of unique games will release Atlas: Enchanted Lands Fall 2017. Designed by J. Alex Kevern (SentientWorld’s Fair 1893), Atlas: Enchanted Lands draws players into the magical world of an enchanted forest. Art by Beth Sobel (Lanterns: The Harvest FestivalLanterns: The Emperor’s GiftsSnow Tails), illuminates the landscapes at Dawn, Day, Sunset, and Night.

Atlas: Enchanted Lands is an elegant card game set in a world of fairies and magic. Play cards to reveal a certain place and time — and place your stake in one of the two. Explore a location at dawn, day, sunset, and night, or see what the whole land looks like in the dark. Each card offers two choices, and it’s up to you to uncover the world that awaits.

Players are challenged to predict the Time or Place that will be uncovered first. Cards laid on the board will complete sets. Depending on the cards chosen by the players, sets of similar cards or numerically ascending cards will be revealed, granting points to the players that deduced the correct combination.

“There’s something elegant and beautiful about simple mechanics that still challenge the players to really think about their choices,”  says Renegade President Scott Gaeta.  “We’re incredibly happy to be able to pair J. Alex Kevern’s polished design with Beth Sobel’s delightful illustrations.”

Look for Atlas: Enchanted Lands at friendly local game stores and online Fall 2017. Atlas takes about 20 minutes to play and is for 2-4 players ages 8+ with an MSRP of $20. The box contains the following components:

  • 32 Cards
  • 64 Chips (16 per player)
  • 4 Suit tokens

Visit www.renegadegames.com for more information about our games and the designers we work with.

Board game cafes are popping up everywhere, which makes sense with the board game industry booming like it is.  But what makes the Meeple Mountain Board Game Cafe noteworthy?  Well it will be the only cafe within 200 miles of the city of Nashville.  Nashville is called the Athens of the South and will soon be boasting a population of 2 million, so there are lots of potential cafe goers.  The current plan is for the cafe to open in late 2017/early 2018 and will have “cafe and retail space, room for private event bookings, frequent public events, and more“.  This is an exciting thing for Nashville board gamers, and hopefully a continuing trend of cafes opening up around the country.  You can read more about the cafe on the Meeple Mountain website.

Back in November, I wrote about Defiant Development working with Rule & Make to create a board game adaptation of their hit video game, Hand of Fate. Well, it’s finally here on Kickstarter! Hand of Fate: Ordeals is the official board game adaptation of the popular deck-building adventure game found on consoles and PC. 1 to 4 players can either compete or cooperate to build up their heroes, explore strange locations, encounter traps, and combat fierce enemies for fame. As described via it’s press release:

 “Hand of Fate: Ordeals is a strategic dungeon-crawling and deck-building experience set between the original game and its upcoming sequel. […] Players draw from a deck of cards and build dungeons on the board from their inventory. Much like its digital counterparts, the tabletop game’s open-ended design ensures no two games ever play out the same way.”

I mused before about what this game could possibly look like, since not everything from the video game could translate well to the tabletop. We now have more than enough information to answer those curiosities. Ordeals is incredibly flexible with player counts and game modes, and smooths the difficulties of transition by embracing it’s deck-building roots more than the original did. For those unfamiliar with the video game, the deck-building was  only used to create a communal deck where you could choose your boons, burdens, and any equipment you could buy or be gifted. While the board game doesn’t abandon that concept, it interestingly shifts most of the deck-building to a starting set of 10 cards that many board gamers are familiar with.

The deck-building in Ordeals isn’t run-of-the-mill, however, since buying cards requires you to explore and risk running into dangers, each of which involves most of the cards in your deck and not just your hand. The combat and the character building is pretty unique and what this game offers is very impressive, but you can find out more about that on their campaign page where they have a few videos and a rough draft rule-book to discover. For fans of Hand of Fate, this product has a lot that we could have wished for from the same excellent art to a promising, immersive experience. So if you’re interested, please check out the Kickstarter page and keep an eye on Defiant Development’s website for further information.

                                                                             

Ares Games and Polish board game company Galakta have announced a partnership to begin distributing Galakta products globally outside of Europe.

Ares games will begin distributing Galakta games including This War of Mine The Board GameAge of Thieves, Ragers Champions of the Arena, Zombie Terror, Andromeda, and King & Assassins.

Director of R&D at Ares Games, Roberto Di Meglio, expressed that Ares Games found strong brand alignment between the two companies and the benefits of the Ares Games distribution network:

Ares started developing a strong US and worldwide distribution for our products six years ago, and we now feel we are able to provide a good service to our customers, and to our partner Galakta, by promoting their games together with ours. Games such as This War of Mine The Board Game and Age of Thieves and the rest of Galakta’s releases are very consistent with our product and design philosophy, and we are committed to make them a success in the North American market and around the world.

Galakta owner Dariusz Waszkiewicz is excited to get these games to new markets:

For the last 13 years, we have succeeded in building a very strong position on Polish board game market and a few years ago, we started developing our own titles. We have worked several times with the Ares Games team on some of their great titles, and at the same time, we could see how they were growing outside Europe. We are convinced that thanks to this extended relationship our games will become available to many board game fans all over the World.

The Ares and Galakta partnership first started 5 years ago with Galakta publishing Polish editions of War of the Ring, with additional Polish editions of The Battle of Five Armies and Jolly Roger.

 

 

CMON Limited and Ankama Products have announced the end of their partnership which had CMON Limited distributing Ankama Products in the US.

CMON Limited and Ankama Products originally entered a partnership together to release Krosmaster: Quest. Following the successful release of Krosmaster: Quest CMON Limited went on to also distribute Krosmaster Arena 2.0, Kromaster Collection: Cemetery Park, 75 Gnom’ Street as well as other Ankama titles.

The final game to be released under the current distribution deal will be Gang Rush: Breakout on June 23, 2017. CMON Limited will continue to sell all the remaining stock they have of Ankama Products past the June 23rd date as while supplies last.

CMON Limited did note in their announcement that Ankara Products will have a forthcoming announcement regarding a new US distribution partner.

In 2011 CMON, originally named Cool Mini or Not, entered the board gaming market with games including Zombicide, Arcadia Quest, Kennerspiel des Jahres nominated Blood Rage, Rum & Bones and more. CMON Limited stock can be purchased on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Growth Enterprise Market under stock code “08278.”

Ankama is self described as an “independent digital creation group” whose work includes both digital games as well as board games. Over 85 million accounts have been created for the online game DOFUS that Ankama created in 2004. Since then Ankama has also created physical game products in a move towards transmedia products.